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California Needs Clean Energy After Sundown. Is the Answer Under Our Feet?

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After years of playing third fiddle to solar and wind power, geothermal energy is poised to start growing again in California.
Three local energy providers have signed contracts this month for electricity from new geothermal power plants, one in Imperial County near the Salton Sea and the other in Mono County along the Eastern Sierra. The new plants will be the first geothermal facilities built in California in nearly a decade — potentially marking a long-awaited turning point for a technology that could play a critical role in the state’s transition to cleaner energy sources.
Geothermal plants can generate emissions-free, renewable electricity around the clock, unlike solar panels or wind turbines. The technology has been used commercially for decades and involves tapping naturally heated underground reservoirs to create steam and turn turbines.
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